Salamandra robotica II, the only robot able to swim, crawl and walk (w/ video)

Mar 19, 2013
Credit: Kostas Karakasiliotis, Biorobotics Laboratory, EPFL

Salamandra robotica II is a last generation amphibious robot developed by the Biorobotics Laboratory at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). It is the guest of honor at the booth of Syrobo, the founder of Innorobo, which is the largest European exhibition of service robotics, and takes place in Lyon from 19 to 21 March 2013. Among the many robots inspired by natural designs, the Salamandra robotica II is the only one able to swim, crawl and walk—all by combining robotics, evolution and neurobiology.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Salamandra robotica II walking and swimming outdoors

A salamander's locomotion is controlled by distributed along its spinal cord. When it chooses whether to swim or walk, its decision depends on the intensity of the sent from the brain to the spinal cord circuits. Salamandra robotica II is able to move by using a of the salamander's medullary neural network. A remote computer triggers electrical signals that mimic those coming from a real salamander's brain. Finally, the signals control the walking and swimming modes, as well as the speed and direction of the robot's movement.

Credit: Kostas Karakasiliotis, Biorobotics Laboratory, EPFL

This amphibious robot was developed by Professor Auke Ijspeert's team at EPFL in collaboration with Jean-Marie Cabelguen from the University of Bordeaux /. Unsurprisingly, it has evolved much faster that the animal it was modeled upon. Salamandra robotica II is now much more robust, faster and more powerful than the 2007 prototype.

It is a valuable tool for better understanding of locomotion systems and their associated pathologies. In addition, it paves the way for a new generation of amphibious robots that are capable of changing their speed, direction or locomotion mode by the transmission of simple commands from a remote station. This feature could prove to be particularly useful in a range of fields, e.g. search and .

Explore further: Osaka team fine-tunes quadruped robot Pneupard (w/ Video)

More information: biorob.epfl.ch/salamandra

Research paper: Crespi, A.; Karakasiliotis, K.; Guignard, A.; Ijspeert, A. J., "Salamandra Robotica II: An Amphibious Robot to Study Salamander-Like Swimming and Walking Gaits," Robotics, IEEE Transactions on , vol.PP, no.99, pp.1,13, doi: 10.1109/TRO.2012.2234311 Available online at URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6416074&isnumber=4359257

Related Stories

Robotic fish navigate flowscapes

Mar 06, 2013

The EU funded European research project FILOSE has developed robots with a new sense - lateral line sensing. All fish have this sensing organ but so far it had no technological counterpart on man-made underwater ...

Snakes improve search-and-rescue robots

Jan 19, 2012

Designing an all-terrain robot for search-and-rescue missions is an arduous task for scientists. The machine must be flexible enough to move over uneven surfaces, yet not so big that it's restricted from tight ...

Study traces the neural wiring of a running mouse

May 12, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Cornell researchers have identified a group of spinal cord nerve cells that manages running in mice. In the process they have illuminated an interesting step in mouse evolution: When you're being chased ...

EPFL robots will soon appear in school classrooms

Nov 28, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Swiss scientists have developed an educational robot designed to introduce children to technology in schools. Baptized Thymio II, it was officially presented to teachers in the Canton of Vaud ...

Recommended for you

Robot scouts rooms people can't enter

Apr 23, 2014

(Phys.org) —Firefighters, police officers and military personnel are often required to enter rooms with little information about what dangers might lie behind the door. A group of engineering students at ...

A robot dives into search for Malaysian Airlines flight

Apr 18, 2014

In the hunt for signs of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370—which disappeared on March 8 after deviating for unknown reasons from its scheduled flight path—all eyes today turn to a company that got its start ...

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Aryeh_Z
1 / 5 (3) Mar 19, 2013
Nice but can it do anything?
210
2.5 / 5 (4) Mar 19, 2013
Nice but can it do anything?

WHA? Hey, it just did more laps in the pool, and speed walked more kilometers, than you have done in the last 30 year. Be nice human-type being!

word-to-ya-muthas
zz6549
not rated yet Mar 19, 2013
I have a suspicion that the primary purpose of this robot is to confound waterfowl.
Aryeh_Z
3 / 5 (1) Mar 19, 2013
Let me be more specific. Can it do anything useful or is this a proof of concept item?
baudrunner
4.5 / 5 (2) Mar 19, 2013
Remarkably life-like. If given a more realistic exterior, it would fool anyone. The next step is to make one that swims underwater. It could be equipped with a boring mechanism that puts holes in the sides of enemy submarines or the hulls of enemy warships so that they could be salvaged intact and recycled. It's more elegant than blowing them up.
packrat
1 / 5 (1) Mar 19, 2013
@Baudrunner, Yea, scale it up about 100 times and it might actually be useful for that and a few other more benign purposes too. If nothing else it would seriously confuse warships sonar systems for a while until they people in charge figured out what was really going on...

More news stories

SK Hynix posts Q1 surge in net profit

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said Thursday its first-quarter net profit surged nearly 350 percent from the previous year on a spike in sales of PC memory chips.

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.

Brazil enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights'

Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies ...

Phase transiting to a new quantum universe

(Phys.org) —Recent insight and discovery of a new class of quantum transition opens the way for a whole new subfield of materials physics and quantum technologies.

Imaging turns a corner

(Phys.org) —Scientists have developed a new microscope which enables a dramatically improved view of biological cells.